DAM, MAM or is it process management?
Mike Shaw, IBIS
If you asked a selection of 50 broadcasters to define exactly what they think MAM or
DAM is, I would bet that you’d get 50 different answers. And I would also bet that if
you asked the same 50 broadcasters to tell you the difference between MAM and
DAM, you’d either get stunned silence or a cacophony of conflicting views.
What makes me think this? Well one of the reasons is that at every NAB and IBC for
the last couple of years, broadcasters who have set out to discover the secrets of
employing MAM, have come to our booth and asked to see a MAM or DAM system.
The first question I always ask is what do you want to do? This appears to fox them
and for quite a while they seem to continue in the belief that you can buy an ‘off the
shelf’ MAM system in much the same way as you can buy an NLE.
Media Asset Management (MAM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) can also be
known as archive management, content repurposing, and a host of other names
covering a host of other activities. But whatever name you call it by, the fact is that
it simply means managing all the stuff you need to manage. Which is why at IBIS
we call it process management.
Planning, scheduling and playout, logically, is one process: You acquire programmes,
put them into a schedule, craft a seamless playout download with commercials and
promos, and play it to air. Usually, this involves knowing what content/media you
have, where it has come from, what rights you have to play it, where it is now,
where it needs to be in a day – or a week – or a month, what format(s) it is to be
produced in for what purpose; if it can be archived and if it can, whether you can still
get at it quickly if you should need to.
Process management means keeping track of all that information, whilst giving each
of those in the process chain only the information relevant to their set of
responsibilities. This sort of asset management – keeping track of all the metadata –
is a fundamental element in an integrated broadcast automation system, of the sort
that IBIS routinely delivers.
Now, you might think that tracking all that metadata would take a huge staff but if
you want to run attractive channels in the most cost-effective way, all you really
need is an effective, comprehensive and seamless automation system that covers
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